"ThereÕs a tension in my work between anger and sentimentality, ideology and form and the difficulty of articulating the experiences of a marginalized group, with its particularities and minutiae, for a mainstream audience. When I first began making films, I felt my greatest stylistic challenge was dealing with the uneven baseline of cultural reference points between Asian and non-Asian viewers. How does one disrupt the center, and realign the notion of universality?"

The films of Renˇe Tajima-Pe–a rest on the assumption that memory is malleable and truth fluid. A gifted storyteller with an activistÕs mind and a wonderful sense of humor, she turns conventions of American entertainmentŃthe murder story, the family reunion, the road tripŃinto lapidary, multi-textual, primarily feature length works that amalgamate fiction and documentary traditions. Whether she is on the trail of scandal and intrigue, following her husband and brother-in-law back to their family home to El Valle, the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, combining individual narrative with social analysis in the portrait of a Vietnamese meatpacker in Kansas City, or moving between parody and lamentation taking contemporary skateboard culture to Manzanar, the World War II internment camp for Japanese-Americans, Tajima-Pe–a thickens political discourse by means of the personal story. And thatÕs a story filled not only by emotion, dreams, and memory but by the imprint of culture be it war, race, economic exploitation or sexual inequality.

Born 1958, Chicago
Lives in Los Angeles
1980 B.A., Harvard-Radcliffe College, Cum Laude in East Asian Studies and Sociology

2004 Rosa’s Boys (working title), work-in-progress
2004 My Journey Home, produced and directed with Lourdes Portillo
2003 Mexico City in The New Americans
2002 Labor Women
2001 Skate Manzanar, for the multi-media collaboration “Amnesia”
1997 The Last Beat Movie
1997 My America...or Honk if You Love Buddha
1993 Audio installation combining the quotations of Chairman Mao Tse Tung and the music of James Brown, performed by Jessica Hagedorn and Laurie Carlos, for Shu Lea Cheang’s Those Fluttering Objects of Desire
1988 Who Killed Vincent Chin?, produced and directed with Chris Choy

2001 Soros Documentary Fund
1999 Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance Award
1991 DuPont–Columbia University Award, Silver Baton
1990, 94 Rockefeller Foundation Intercultural Film/Video Fellow in Documentary
1990 Peabody Award
1989 Academy Award® nomination for Best Feature Documentary
1988 International Documentary Association Achievement Award
1987, 94 New York Foundation for the Arts, Fellow in Film

2003 Amsterdam International Documentary Film Festival
2002 Bellevue Art Museum
2001 Locarno Film Festival, Switzerland
1999 Dortmund Women’s Film Festival, Germany
1998 Athens International Film & Video Festival, Best Overall Documentary Award
1998 New York Museum of Modern Art
1997 Sundance Film Festival
1997 Wexner Center for the Arts
1989, 93 Whitney Museum of Art Biennial Exhibition
1989 Cannes Film Festival, France
1989 London International Film Festival
1989 Mannheim International Film Festival, Ducat Priz, Germany
1988 Hawaii International Film, Festival Best Documentary
1988 New Directors/New Films, Opening Night Film